The Border Battles

I will wait to see if this is just another show, or whether they are really serious about border security, but my inclination is to belive this is nothing more than paving the way to the November elections:

President Bush tried to ease the worries of his Mexican counterpart yesterday as he prepared for a nationally televised address tonight unveiling a plan to send thousands of National Guard troops to help seal the nation’s southern border against illegal immigrants.

Mexican President Vicente Fox called to express concern over the prospect of militarization of the border, and Bush reassured him that it would be only a temporary measure to bolster overwhelmed Border Patrol agents, the White House said.

“The president made clear that the United States considers Mexico a friend and that what is being considered is not militarization of the border but support of Border Patrol capabilities on a temporary basis by National Guard personnel,” said White House spokeswoman Maria Tamburri.

My experience with this administration is that they talk a good talk, and walk just far enough to appease the voters, and then after the votes are counted, they go right back to doing whatever the hell they want. At any rate, my opinion of Vicente Fox’s reaction is pretty much to give him the finger. What we do on our side of the border really shouldn’t be (and isn’t) his call to make, particularly when you consider that Mexican Army units are running all over the place on the other side of the border.

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36 replies
  1. 1
    Maxwell says:

    There were supposed to be 10,000 new border guards hired and trained. Budget restrictions have limited hiring to under 200. Where is the commitment?

    Simple answer – hiring border guards doesn’t result in a contract to private business that can enrich the companies and generate campaign contributions.

  2. 2
    Gratefulcub says:

    my opinion of Vicente Fox’s reaction is pretty much to give him the finger.

    The Decider’s finger is so tired though. He has used it to offend almost every ally we once had. He needs a nice vacation down in Crawford to revamp. Then I am sure he will start flipping off allies and foes alike. I believe his next three presidential acts are:

    Give the Iranians a “read between the lines” finger

    Look into Putin’s soul and give him one of his classic “crank your hand while the finger slowly rises” finger

    Then turn to Mexico and ask if they want to “see a double back flip”

    Presidentin is hard work

  3. 3
    Gratefulcub says:

    Simple answer – hiring border guards doesn’t result in a contract to private business that can enrich the companies and generate campaign contributions.

    I heard on NPR this morning that the plan is to put 10,000 Nationla Guardsmen on the border temporarily. Then start the contracting process to get private companies to patrol full time.

  4. 4
    JoeTx says:

    I used to think private contractors and corporations would be a more efficient way to run the government, but GW pretty much changed my mind on that one. Turns out, they just charge 50-500% more for the same or less services, and nobody cares how much money they steal…

  5. 5
    Andrew says:

    I used to think private contractors and corporations would be a more efficient way to run the government, but GW pretty much changed my mind on that one. Turns out, they just charge 50-500% more for the same or less services, and nobody cares how much money they steal…

    Why do you hate free enterprise and capitalism, Comrade JoeTx?

  6. 6
    Brian says:

    Agreed on Vicente Fox. We should treat our southern border exactly the way they treat their own southern border.

    Bush is transparently pandering to whatever “base” he has left. We’re hip to this shtick of his: drape himself in his power-robes, stroll in front of the live cameras, pronounce enough to appease the peasants, then go back to doing exactly what he wants, which is usually the opposite of the pronouncements.

    Bush doesn’t give a shining shit about controlling immigration, taking any stand that would infuriate either Fox or the States-side business lobbies, or showing a scintilla of concern for the border states. It is election-year pandering of the worst kind, as these are actions he could have taken any time over the last 5 years, and has not.

    I hope the governors give Bush the finger on using guard troops. I don’t know how Bush can override them, but maybe he can, even for an election-year stunt like this. Most attempts by states to control illegal immigration are met with objection on the basis that it’s the Fed’s responsibility. Now, the Fed wants to take responsibility, and use the resources of the states??? I say, “Fuck him”. Maybe Arnold here in CA, who tends to keep Bush at arm’s length and who has a Democrat for a chief-of-staff, can do this and get away with it. Here’s hoping he does.

    I’m sick of this shit, and we have two more years of it.

  7. 7
    croatoan says:

    President Bush was supposed to add 2000 border patrol guards a year over the next five years, according to the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 [PDF], but he only funded 210 new agents in his 2006 budget. I’m sure he added a nanny-nanny-boo-boo signing statement that says he can outsource it instead, though. I miss the rule of law.

  8. 8
    D. Mason says:

    I used to think private contractors and corporations would be a more efficient way to run the government, but GW pretty much changed my mind on that one.

    Private contractors could deffinately do a better job but only if they were accdountable to the people they’re serving instead of beurocrats who don’t give a fuck(or not atall). That’s the underlying problem, accountability. Without oversight there is no motivation to do a good job. When you take decisions out of the hands of the “customer” and put them in the hands of a third party you can guarantee corruption and shitty work.

  9. 9
    Steve says:

    What we do on our side of the border really shouldn’t be (and isn’t) his call to make, particularly when you consider that Mexican Army units are running all over the place on the other side of the border.

    The first part of this sentence isn’t really fair, since any country has a right to be concerned if one of their neighbors decides to militarize the border. The remainder of the sentence is quite valid, of course.

  10. 10
    ppGaz says:

    I dunno. First fail to beef up the Border Patrol, then panic and throw National Guard at the border.

    Why does this remind me of last August? Panicky, reactionary mode, day late and dollar short.

    But let’s hear the speech first. Maybe this will be the New Orleans Mission Accomplished show all over again?

  11. 11
    ppGaz says:

    I’m sick of this shit, and we have two more years of it.

    Hey, that’s my line.

    Well, you left out the f-words, but still.

  12. 12
    Mr Furious says:

    Um, Brian, is that really you?

  13. 13
    Jill says:

    False crisis # 839. This will work out as well as social security, medicare prescription drugs, Iraq…take your pick.

  14. 14
    fwiffo says:

    Agreed on Vicente Fox. We should treat our southern border exactly the way they treat their own southern border.

    Is that really the best approach? Copy our behavior from a hypocrite? I probably have disagreements with both left and right wingers about how exactly the situation should be handled, but I doubt knee-jerk, “gotcha”, copycat behavior is really sound policy. That’s a bit like justifying Abu Gihrab by saying “well, Saddamn tortured people lots, he was worse!”

    Doesn’t it make more sense to sit down and rationally come up with a secure, humane and economical border policy of our own?

  15. 15
    Llelldorin says:

    Brian, would you support a tax increase aimed at funding USCIS and ICE properly?

    We clearly need both, yes? We need real law enforcement officers for border guards, not the National Guard. (Unless Mexicans are now sneaking in using tanks, but I’ve heard nothing of the sort.) We also need USCIS funded vastly better, so immigrating legally isn’t the current bureaucratic nightmare that makes most people long for the simple clarity of IRS documents.

    If you don’t support a tax increase, how would you up ICE’s funding?

  16. 16
    Mr Furious says:

    This might be the dumbest, most obvious and blantent pander from Bush yet. Is there anyone that could possibly be impressed or fooled by this?

    [looking at you TallDave and Darrell]

    If the Dems have anything to say but “Bush wants to use 10,000 of our overstretched National Guardmen to patrol the border, when he cut exactly that many guards from the budget last year” they are fucking stupider than I thought.

    I don’t want to hear Joe Biden come out with shit like, “I’m not sure they can do it…”

    Shut the fuck up you bloviating jackass. DO NOT pin any of this on the National Guard, or question their ability to do the job (even out of concern). Point this directly at President. Over and over again. He has done worse than nothing about the borders for five long years—this is pure election year bullshit.

  17. 17
    DougJ says:

    Just hacked onto the server of ABC’s The Note and slipped these in

    1. The White House 72-hour striptease of the National Guard on the border has been brilliantly executed, with all of the pre-speech focus and headlines emphasizing a get-tough border enforcement element of what the President supports. (Score one for the Bolten-Rove-Bartlett-Wallace-Snow Gang of 5.)

    6. Most of the politicians (including former Texas Governor George Walker Bush) working the issue actually care about solving the problem. They are aware of the political dimensions, but winning Hispanic voters, or pacifying Big Business, or some other electoral calculation is not what is motivating them.

    Let’s see if they notice.

  18. 18
    Perry Como says:

    I have a simple solution to this. Instead of posting 10,000 NG there temporarily, we should rotate 10,000 NG every two weeks. We should start by pulling our NG in Iraq back to the states so the first 10,000 can serve their time. Then they get the rest of the year off (other than the one weekend a month at their local base).

  19. 19
    Steve says:

    6. Most of the politicians (including former Texas Governor George Walker Bush) working the issue actually care about solving the problem. They are aware of the political dimensions, but winning Hispanic voters, or pacifying Big Business, or some other electoral calculation is not what is motivating them.

    Authenticity, the political quality that is only possessed by Republicans! Great job, DougJ, they’ll never know it was you.

  20. 20
    ppGaz says:

    So, if there are about 2000 miles of Mexican-American border, and we post 10,000 troops … that seems to work out to about one national guardsman for every 1000 feet of border. Twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year.

    If I’m on the other side of the border, I can’t see how that ratio affects me much at all. If I can’t get 3k people a day across that border, I don’t have a hair on my ass. I figure the actual coverage, at any given moment in time, is about one guard for every half mile of border.

  21. 21
    Jackmormon says:

    I hope everyone is looking forward to the PRI returning to power.

  22. 22
    Perry Como says:

    I hope everyone is looking forward to the PRI returning to power.

    I’m more worried about the jackalopes.

  23. 23
    Cherub says:

    We’re fighting them here instead of fighting them over there….or is that backwards? Terrorists,immigrants, awwww..hell,who can keep all the enemies straight anymore?

  24. 24
    ET says:

    Personally, I can’t conceive of this as anything but an election/poularity ploy. Rove et al are going to play this up for a couple of days and the press will play along. Then, knowing the short attention span of the press and the general public, this will be allowed to die away. Bone has been thrown, bone gnawed on and then once used up, bone burried in the flower bed and forgotten.

  25. 25
    ppGaz says:

    I’m more worried about the jackalopes.

    As well you should. Even as we speak, coyotes are raising litters of jackalopes, later to release them accross the border so as to confound the troops and their surveillance equipment.

    Distracted, the troops will be unaware of the vanloads of immigrants strolling over the border and helping themselves to our jobs and our women.

  26. 26

    My experience with this administration is that they talk a good talk, and walk just far enough to appease the voters, and then after the votes are counted, they go right back to doing whatever the hell they want. At any rate, my opinion of Vicente Fox’s reaction is pretty much to give him the finger. What we do on our side of the border really shouldn’t be (and isn’t) his call to make, particularly when you consider that Mexican Army units are running all over the place on the other side of the border.

    I concur.

  27. 27

    Private contractors could deffinately do a better job but only if they were accdountable to the people they’re serving instead of beurocrats who don’t give a fuck(or not atall). That’s the underlying problem, accountability. Without oversight there is no motivation to do a good job. When you take decisions out of the hands of the “customer” and put them in the hands of a third party you can guarantee corruption and shitty work.

    Those of us in the private sector who work with contractors all the time know this, so it’s not clear to me why anybody thinks Government will run differently.

    There’s an old saying “If you’re not part of the solution, there’s good money to be made in prolonging the problem.” Anybody who has dealt with the big national consulting firms like Andersen(or whatever they are called now) know this well.

    I once had a contractor say to me in response to an inquiry about working to solve an issue, “I don’t have any stake in this.”

    Third party contractors are not interested in making the process more efficient. That is, unless you are talking about something very much a commodity. Like Janitorial services, lawn care, food service, etc. If you’re hiring people to process tax forms, well, uhh, how many companies do that in the market? Not many, it’s a government function.

    No, I’ve come to the conclusion that just like in private industry when our CIO awarded the contract to all QA work to his neighbor’s company… that private contracting in Government is primarily about cronyism and corruption. It’s a legalized way, as the Missouri Governor has shown, to pass out favors to those who got him elected.

  28. 28
    ppGaz says:

    This just in: The Bush Administration this week will announce a new, concerted War on Terrifying Alligators, now seen as responsible for at least three deaths in Florida in the past week.

    The bloodthirsty creatures are coming across the border at various locations in Florida, according to sources close to the investigation.

    Later, gator.

    “The gator is the new jackalope,” one White House insider was quoted as saying.

  29. 29
    ppGaz says:

    “Is Iran a training ground for alligators?”

    I think that’s the question we need to be asking now.

  30. 30
    Emma Zahn says:

    At a townhall meeting, Rep. John Linder mentioned a proposed house bill that mirrors Mexico’s immigration laws. I’m sure it is just a stunt, but it does make a good point. Anybody know anything about it?

  31. 31
    KC says:

    Boarder? What Boarder?

  32. 32
    fwiffo says:

    If Vox Day didn’t exist, I would have to invent him:

    Not only will it work, but one can easily estimate how long it would take. If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn’t possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don’t speak English and are not integrated into American society.

    Too bad us lefties are so shrill, otherwise we could have a civil discussion with such luminaries!

  33. 33
    rachel says:

    It occurs to me that posting the National Guard along our borders could be argued as a much more legitimate use for them than sending them way the heck over to the Middle East. You know, actually have then guard the nation rather than be sitting ducks over there. They’d probably prefer it too.

  34. 34
    Andrew says:

    Wait, I’m a bit confused. Who gave the marching orders that immigration was going to be the excuse for turning away from the President?

    Michelle Malkin? Trent Lott? Jerry Falwell?

    I suppose they had to come up with something to do with safetiness, but different from Iraq.

  35. 35
    Rusty Shackleford says:

    If the Republicans could just get an alligator to eat Katherine Harris…

  36. 36
    William Garland says:

    Mexican armed military forces have entered the US without our permisson. This is an act of war. Forget the unarmed National Guard. Give our regular military the geeen light to stop any foreign military invading the US.

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